Toyota's cornered the eco-car market with the Prius and the small-car market with various iQs, Aygos and Yarises, but its sports-car cabinet is conspicuously bare. Luckily, though, the company's just unveiled the FT-86 II concept -- a design it says is the blueprint for its next sports-oriented tarmac shredder.
The FT-86 II definitely looks the part. It's not quite as gorgeous as the Lexus LFA that sits at the throne of Toyota's luxury Lexus brand, but its wedge-shaped profile, long, sleek bonnet, aggressive front end and sporty rear really do tickle our fanbelts.
The FT-86 II concept is remarkably compact. It's a mere 4.2m in length, 1.8m wide and 1.3m high, so it's a tiny bit shorter and a smidgen wider than a VW Golf R32.
Whether it has R32-matching levels of performance remains to be seen. Toyota says the FT-86 II concept won't use a heavy, high-capacity engine. Instead, it'll rely on a free-revving boxer petrol engine provided by Subaru, a "compact and lightweight six-speed manual transmission" and rear-wheel drive to provide lively, accessible performance that's "easy to harness and enjoy".
Thankfully, we won't have to wait too long to see what becomes of the FT-86 II Concept. Toyota has promised to deliver the new model in Europe in 2012, though pricing and other specifications are still to be confirmed.
While you wait and salivate, have a gander through the FT-86 II concept's official pictures in our gallery above.